Reflections National Arts Contest

Students in Pre-K through grade 12, and a special artist division are invited to create theme-based artwork in the categories of dance choreography, film production, literature, musical composition, photography or visual artsMembership in Virginia PTA provides the opportunity to participate in the National PTA Reflections Arts Contest. This competition encourages students to explore the arts and express themselves by providing positive recognition for their artistic efforts. Since it was founded in 1969 by Mary Lou Anderson, millions of students have benefited from this program.

2023-2024 School Year Reflections Theme: “I am Hopeful Because….”


Students submit their completed work of art with an artist statement, to their local school PTA’s Reflections contest in the Fall.

  • Local PTAs celebrate winners at the school level, and then forward winning entries in each age division and art category to their City/County Council PTA.  If your school is not located in a Council, then your school PTA’s winning entries should be submitted directly to Virginia PTA for regional judging. 
  • Council PTAs select winning entries and submit winning entries for each age division and art category to Virginia PTA. Council PTA’s hold Student Awards Celebrations in late winter/early spring.
  • Virginia PTA selects and submits state winning entries to National PTA to compete against students from across the United States, and holds a Student Awards Celebration in April. 
  • National PTA selects and announces winners of the national-level contest in May. 

* If your school PTA hasn’t been sharing information about Reflections, reach out to your school PTA! They may need a volunteer to help organize the arts contest for your school community.  

  • Merit Award: Bronze Medal; Certificate of Merit; Work featured in the virtual exhibition
  • Award of Excellence: $200 Young Artist Scholarship; Silver Medal; Certificate of Excellence; Work featured in the virtual exhibition
  • Outstanding Interpretation Award: $800 Young Artist Scholarship; Gold Medal; Certificate of Outstanding Interpretation; Work featured in the virtual exhibition; $200 Prize for Local PTA Unit


Identify a chairperson for your Local PTA Reflections Arts contest and start planning how you will collect entries and celebrate students using the Local Leader Toolkit and resources linked below.

Please remember that while you will only forward the first place entry (Outstanding Interpretation) for each age division and art category, your PTA should recognize all students who participated and also identify Award of Excellence (2nd place) and Award of Merit (3rd place) winners.

Local Units who are within Council boundaries should submit first place entries for each age division and art category to their Council PTA. You can find your Council affiliation in your MemberHub/Givebacks under ‘Unit Data’.

Local Units that DO NOT have an active PTA Council in their county/city should submit first place entries in each age division and art category directly to Virginia PTA for a first round of regional judging.

2023-2024 Reflections Due Dates for Virginia
  • Sept 18th:  Virginia PTA Reflections Webinar VIEW RECORDING | VIEW PRESENTATION
  • Oct/Nov:    Students submit entries to local school PTA based on time-line set by school PTA
  • Dec 15th:   Local Unit first place submissions are to due to Council PTAs
  • Jan. 5th:     Non-Council Local Unit first place submissions due to Virginia PTA
  • Jan 17th:    Council winners due to Virginia PTA 
  • Feb 20th:    Virginia PTA winners announced
  • Apr 13th:     Student Awards Celebration (Richmond)
  • May 2024:   National PTA Winners announced

Submit Your Unit’s Reflections Winners

All final entries sent to the Virginia PTA will be electronic.

Please label all entries with the following naming convention
School. Art. Division. LastName. FileType
Examples: KeystoneES.Dance.Intermediate.Gupta. Art.    |         KeystoneES. Dance.Intermediate.Gupta.Entry


COUNCIL SUBMISSION LINK (Council level entries. Due Jan 17th)

Virginia PTA 2023-2024 Reflections Awards Celebration

Virginia PTA is excited to celebrate the artistic talents of students across the Commonwealth with an afternoon of creativity and celebration!

Date: Saturday, April 13th, 2024
Time: 1:00pm- 3:00pm (Doors open at 12:45pm)

Place: Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School  | 1000 Lombardy St. Richmond, VA 23220

Guest Speaker: Virginia Secretary of Education, Aimee Guidera

Guests: Due to auditorium space constraints, student artists are allowed only 3 guests to attend the ceremony with them.

What to Expect: The celebration will include a watercolor painting activity led by a professional artist and an awards presentation. All students will be called to the stage one-by-one to be recognized and have a photo opportunity receiving their award. To facilitate a smooth awards presentation, students will be seated together in the auditorium with their respective art category peers. Special Artists will be seated together with their family.

RSVP is required. All students being recognized have received an email invitation with the RSVP link. 

Reflections 2025-2026 Theme Contest

Nov. 1st – Theme entries due to Virginia PTA
Dec. 15th –  Virginia PTA announces Virginia’s winning theme entry
May. 2023 – National PTA announces winning theme (see past themes)

  • 2023 Virginia PTA Winning THEME Entries 
    • Believe In YOU! | A.E. Cherian, 10th grade, Grafton High School PTSA, York Council, Tidewater Region
    • Viewing Life Through The Heart | B.L. Hollis 10th grade, King George High School PTSA, Fredericksburg, Northern Region
    • Finding My Place | P. Carty, 11th Grade, Glen Allen High School, Henrico Council, Central Region
    • Being a Leader Means |A. Uhl, 6th Grade, Fairfax Council, Northern Region
    • The Beat of My Own Drum | G. Addotey, 11th grade Henrico Council, Central Region

Past & Future Reflections Arts Contests


If you have questions please email Virginia PTA’s Reflections Chair at